Councils face £9.6bn shortfall from coronavirus crisis, local authority leaders warn

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The coronavirus crisis will leave councils with a funding shortfall of up to £9.6bn, and some are considering freezing essential services as their cash reserves run out, local authority leaders have said.

James Jamieson, chairman of the Local Government Association (LGA), also told MPs on the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee that increased spending and reduced commercial incomes might leave councils needing a bail out quadruple the size of the £3.2bn already pledged by government. 

“We need the cast iron guarantee that we will be funded to the amount we are delivering to our communities,” Jamieson said.

The shortfall figures come from an LGA survey carried out this month, which 98 per cent of councils responded to.

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